Trial Continues For Man Accused of Killing Wife; Victim Was Central Texan

By: Paul J. Gately Email
By: Paul J. Gately Email
Trial is set to continue in Denton Monday morning for Charles Stobaugh, accused in the 2004 disappearance and murder of his wife, a Gatesville native.

Charles Stobaugh (Jail photo)

DENTON (January 31, 2011)—Trial for Charles Stobaugh, 55, is set to continue in Denton’s 362nd State District Court on Monday after defense attorneys blasted a Texas Ranger on Friday who was a lead investigator in the case.

Kathy Munday Stobaugh, then 43, disappeared from the couple’s Sanger home on the night of Dec. 29, 2004 and has never been seen or heard from since.

Police say they believe Charles Stobaugh killed her and hid her body.

Texas Ranger Tracy Murphree was the principal witness last Friday as jurors watched the final two hours of an interview with investigators and Stobaugh.

Jurors saw Stobaugh sitting in a chair in the corner of the interview room and occasionally stood leaning against a wall as investigators grilled him about the disappearance of his wife.

Following the videotape, defense attorneys began grilling Murphree himself, who agreed that the tactics interviewers used were common in such interrogations.

Defense attorney Derrell Comer questioned the length of the interview and the fact that it ended at 4 a.m.

Comer told jurors Murphree repeatedly said Stobaugh killed his wife and told Stobaugh that in time, investigators would find enough evidence to arrest and convict him of the crime.

Comer also pointed out that the officers used Stobaugh's children to try to get him to confess.

Kathy Stobaugh, who had been living at another address after the couple separated, went to the family home in Sanger on Dec. 29, 2004 to discuss details of the couple’s pending divorce.

That was the last time she had been seen.

Days later police found her car still in the driveway at the Sanger residence.

Stobaugh never reported her missing but her teenage daughter told police she was gone, however not until Jan. 5, 2005.

Stobaugh told investigators he believed Kathy Stobaugh had simply run away.

There have been more than 20 searches in Denton and Cooke counties for Kathy Stobaugh but authorities have found no evidence of her body.

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